McGregor vs Mayweather: A Puncher’s Chance?

By Mike Bonilla

Firstly, let me say. I’ve rooted for Floyd Mayweather Jr. in every fight he had. I think he will go down as the best of all time. Because, when you judge a boxer you don’t look at just wins, but who they won against.

That being said…

A lot of commentators are treating this Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather fight like, the time when George Foreman fought 5 opponents in one evening back to back. The hubris of our fellow boxing aficionados is no different then when we referred to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) as a pure blood sport with no potential and assumed MMA would have no effect on boxing. Let’s look at the McGregor vs Mayweather fight as if it were any other bout between two fighters.

Let’s examine the attributes, records, styles, and non-tangibles of both fighters and how they stack up.

Let’s look at the Attributes and Records:

1. Height: Conor has the height advantage.
2. Weight: Both fighters fight at Welterweight (147 lbs limit).
3. Reach: Conor has the reach advantage.
4. Stance: Conor is a Southpaw.
5. Records: Mayweather (49W 26KO 0L) Mcgregor (21W 18KO 3L)
6. Age: Conor is 28 and Mayweather is 40.

Styles:

1. Mayweather: Defensive Counter Puncher with low knockout percentage.
a. His style relies heavily on holding up his opponent and having the referee break them up.
b. He uses a shoulder roll into counter punching.
c. He throws the all long but forgotten punch known as the body jab.
d. Has incredible footwork and use of angles.

2. Mcgregor: Counter Puncher with High Knockout percentage.
a. Fights with patience and precision.
b. Utilizes a pawing jab much like Thomas Hearns.
c. Can punch precisely while moving backwards.
d. Has incredible distance perception, hand speed, and timing.

Non-tangibles:

1. Experience: Clearly Mayweather takes this category.
2. Resume: Again Mayweather takes this.
3. Ring IQ: Mayweather hands down.
4. Precision: Both fighters land about half of their thrown punches.
5. Ability to Comeback from hard shots: Yes, both have demonstrated it.
6. Footwork: Mayweather would take this category.
7. Ability to Work angles: Mayweather would take this category.

So, based on this what do we know? Mayweather (one of the best ever) is fighting a younger, most likely stronger, taller fighter with a longer reach and no professional boxing experience.

This part of the article is going to throw in my opinion about what is going to happen and key questions boxing fans should ask instead of a wholesale discounting of Conor McGregor in a boxing match.

My opinion is that the type of fighter to beat Mayweather’s style is Conor McGregor’s style.

Most likely Mayweather will end up winning. But, I think Conor McGregor has the best chance of any of Mayweather’s last ten opponents. Here’s why:

1. Conor has a clear slight advantage with the attributes.
2. Mayweather will most likely lose one of his best weapons. The body jab.
3. Mayweather will be 41 years old when the fight happens coming off of a 2 year retirement layoff.

Mike, you’re crazy to think that. Maybe. Maybe not.

1. Who gave Floyd the most trouble in his career?
a. Two styles of fighters. One the style of Marcos Maidana who repeatedly bashed Mayweather with that clubbing overhand right. The other is a tall Southpaw, ie. Corley, Judah, Mosley. All of which landed stunning right hands piercing Mayweather’s guard.

2. Did Floyd perform better or worse against Southpaws?
a. Worse, if you look at punch stats. And those devastating right hands.

3. Is Conor a complete wildcard?
a. In my opinion yes, because we haven’t seen what he is capable of.

4. Is Floyd’s ‘body jab’ Conor’s opening to throw that overhand right that caused Floyd trouble?
a. I think so.

5. Do you think Floyd at age 41 will be faster than a 29 year old Conor Mcgregor?
a. No.

6. Did Floyd rely heavily on holding up his opponents in his last 5 or 6 fights?
a. Yes, up against the ropes, spinning people around, etc.

Attributes don’t win fights, they may give you a slight edge in the fight. But if you take away one of Floyd’s weapons for scoring, ie his body jab against a southpaw, it will make for a more interesting fight than people think. Floyd is one of the last fighters to throw the body jab while changing levels. It’s a risky punch to throw, but it is very effective for helping lower your opponent’s guard. Against a southpaw it becomes even more dangerous to throw because of the looming straight left hand or right hook, and when you calculate the fact Conor is a taller fighter it compounds the danger.

A lot of boxing commentators think Conor at the least has a puncher’s chance and will go into the ring chasing Floyd for the knockout. I disagree. I think Conor will fight a patient, methodical fight with Floyd rarely pursuing Floyd. Conor does a lot of counter punching against non-boxers. But, he does have excellent distance perception, timing, and hand speed.

Conor is an untested rifle being taken into battle. Does he misfire? Does he fire? Only time will tell. No one has ever seen Conor box, so we don’t know how it will turn out. But, he is going to box one of the hardest working, talented, and maybe one of the most intelligent boxers of all time who will be coming off a 2 year layoff out of retirement at the age of 41 years old. I’m excited for this fight, because I am a huge Money Team fan and Mac Life fan. Let’s get ready to rumble!